Elon Musk hints at opening Tesla's EV patents [w/video]

CEO suggests as much during launch of RHD Model S in UK

During the Q&A portion of Tesla's annual shareholder meeting last week, CEO Elon Musk said something that caught our ear: "I'm contemplating doing something fairly significant on that front [promoting EVs] which should be kind of controversial with respect to Tesla's patents. But I probably want to write something so that I can take articulate it properly and explain the reasoning for the decision." We immediately asked Tesla for more information but it was the BBC that got to question Musk in person during the UK launch of the right-hand drive Model S (see press release and video below).

"We don't want to cut a path through the jungle and then lay a bunch of landmines behind us" – Elon Musk

The BBC asked Musk if his comment meant he was considering opening up Tesla's patents, and Musk responded with, "you're on the right track." A strong proponent of promoting EVs, Musk also said, "We don't want to cut a path through the jungle and then lay a bunch of landmines behind us."

This wouldn't be the first time Musk has given away a big idea. His outlandish hyperloop high-speed train-like transportation system was open source from the get-go. Musk has also offered to let other automakers piggyback on Tesla's Supercharger fast-charging system. Musk's SpaceX company doesn't even file patents, but that's more to protect the ideas from the Chinese than to make getting to space an open source endeavor, Musk said.

Tesla told AutoblogGreen it is offering "nothing further at this point" on the patent front, so we'll just have to guess away in the comments. Have at it, and you can watch Musk's comment at around minute 46 in the top video here.

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Right Hand Drive Model S Arrives in the UK

LONDON, June 7, 2014

First RHD customer deliveries in the world presented by Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk delivered five new cars to customers in London today at an event to mark the arrival of right hand drive (RHD) Model S in the UK. The occasion marks the beginning of a planned rapid expansion in the country in the coming two years.

Today, Tesla operates a store and a service centre in London. By the end of 2014, however, customers will be able to visit Tesla stores and service centres across the UK. Tesla will also continue to hold test-drive events around the country.


Model S is an uncompromised electric car that delivers 502 kilometres of range on a single charge. With a 17-inch touchscreen, an outstanding safety record, and an acceleration of 0-100 km/h in 4.4 seconds, the fully electric Model S breaks the mould. Tesla is committed to giving customers the best possible Model S experience no matter where they live. With that in mind, the company has completed a country-specific validation programme to ensure the vehicles are optimised for every market in which they are sold. Right hand drive cars in the UK come with software specific to the country and a configuration that fits the needs of owners who drive on the left hand side of the road. Everything from the wipers to the braces in the front trunk has been re-fitted for RHD.


Tesla also energised the first Supercharger location in the UK at the delivery event. The Crystal site at London's Royal Victoria Docks represents the beginning of a route to Paris and then the rest of Europe, which will enable Model S drivers to travel long distances in the UK and on the continent for free.

"Superchargers enable long distance travel but also, in a city where off street parking is rare and expensive, Model S customers will be able to access a network of Superchargers across London to charge, quickly and for free, at their convenience," said Elon Musk. "We are looking at locations across the capital to place our first set of inner city Superchargers. Our plan for routes to other cities in the UK is still on target for the end of the year, but we are also announcing this new initiative in order to best serve our London-based customers. We expect customers to be able to travel the length of the UK for free using our Superchargers within the next 18 months".

Musk said that by the end of the year Model S drivers will be able to travel almost anywhere in Europe using Superchargers. The company is energising Superchargers at a rate of close to one per weekday. More than 125 Supercharger locations are energised worldwide, with 19 locations in Europe. Tesla Superchargers have so far offset more than 2.5 million litres of petrol.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release, including statements regarding future store, service centre and Supercharger locations and capabilities as well as statements regarding sales expectations in Europe, are "forward-looking statements" that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations, and as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those projected. Various important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, including potential difficulties in finding suitable store, service centre and Supercharger sites, negotiating leases or obtaining required permits for such locations and customer acceptance of our brand and vehicles in Europe and Asia, as well as the risks and uncertainties identified under the sections captioned "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results Of Operations" in Tesla's Form 10-K filed on February 26, 2014. Tesla disclaims any obligation to update information contained in these forward-looking statements.

Tesla Information


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